Remember the big scare once BPA was discovered in our water bottles? BPA — the estrogen disrupting chemical — was ubiquitous in many common plastics that consumers interact with every day. Now, an "old school" danger has come back to the water bottle market: Lead. The new hotness in water bottle trends has been insulated stainless steel bottles that keep drinks hotter and colder for much longer periods of time. But they too now have their own "buyer beware" issue to face. Which stainless steel water bottles have toxic levels of lead in them? One concerned mom took it upon herself to get some answers of her own at her blog, Natural Baby Mama, and what she found has gone viral.
The Natural Baby Mama blog partnered with Tamara Rubin, a filmmaker and advocate for lead poisoning prevention. Rubin's activism began in 2005 when her own two children contracted acute lead poisoning in their home; she has since gone on to direct and produce her own feature length documentary, Mislead: America's Secret Epidemic, scheduled for release in October later this year. Through Rubin's testing, they discovered that three specific stainless steel water bottles in Natural Baby Mama's home contained toxic levels of lead.
Rubin used an XRF instrument to detect the presence and levels of lead in several stainless steel water bottles owned by Natural Baby Mama. An XRF, which stands for x-ray fluorescence, instrument is a handheld device that can measure the presence of a number of elements. XRF is particularly efficacious when detecting lead and has been an industry standard for years. It should be noted that, while Rubin is an advocate, she discloses herself that she is "personally trained" with more than 10 years of experience using XRF instruments. But it's also important to note that Rubin is not affiliated with any professional testing lab.
The three bottles that came back positive for lead in toxic levels were the PlanetBox insulated water bottle, the Pura Kiki insulated water bottle, and the Healthy Human insulated water bottle. On the product page for the PlanetBox insulated water bottle, the description notes that all materials used in the bottle have been "independently certified to be safe from lead, phthalates, BPA, and other harmful chemicals." Meanwhile, Pura Kiki is certified as nontoxic by Made Safe, an independent third-party certifier. The Healthy Human website says that its stainless steel bottles contain "no BPA, phthalates, and other toxins." Representatives for each company did not immediately return Romper's request for comment.
Both Natural Baby Mama and Rubin recommend that if you have these bottles in your home to stop using them immediately, and to contact the individual company to inquire about refunds.